Distraction – The Good Kind

Learn to embrace and deal with overwhelming inner voices and overthinking. Click here to skip to how-tos and tips. *disclaimer: I am no expert on the matter, just someone who is sharing from first-hand experience. #Youarenotalone

Overthinking isn’t always a bad thing, it means you care about something enough to be analytical about it. However, sometimes it goes overboard and the overthinking track gets stuck on loop……

When I was still in UK, I embraced the gloomy weather, freedom and solitude. I was pretty occupied with my part-time job. Most days, I would be dishing and washing, or doing my own things solo. I would say I was pretty much all by myself for the majority of time daily. However, that solitude never left me drowning in my inner voices with side-commentary from other people. I did not allow myself time to have my inner voices echo in my preoccupied mind, where my brain was being utilized to carry out my somewhat demanding routine. Perhaps being surrounded by happy and carefree people all the time helped too. Since I came home, I’ve been living at a slower pace…

What I’ve been up to? It ranges from house chores to blogging. Of course, I’m trying to do things I like doing – cooking, photo/video editing… along with things to better myself, like working out, reading and such. It may seem like I’m spending my time well, but I’ve had many lazy moments of say, going on a related videos frenzy on YouTube (just like when we prep for finals). It may seem that I am keeping myself pretty occupied, but it isn’t the same when you’re doing things without urgency at your own pace… the less demanding nature of my activities just doesn’t fully utilize my brain enough to distract me from the inner voices. The voices are being magnified recently that my head hasn’t been able to completely switch off for sleep. I may not remember the thoughts or dreams that I had, but faint fragments of it echo and still ring in my blank mind when I wake up.

The inner dialogue feeds off everything and any little detail I can question and doubt about myself. Be it major decisions of choosing a career path, to my deep sense of insecurity presuming other’s judgement towards me for an awkward wave. Sure, talking with people about my self-doubts gives me a new perspective towards it. It helps… until it doesn’t. It does help realign my thoughts and even assert my true voice over that noise, but sometimes, it gives me more to analyse and dwell over… overanalysing till the point I compare to things from 15 years ago… and the overthinking runs overtime.

“I have these thoughts, so often I ought
To replace that slot with what I once bought
‘Cause somebody stole my car radio
And now I just sit in silence

 

Like I’ve said many times before, it’s easier said than done when it comes to our uncontrollable minds. Thoughts, good and bad, just run through our minds all the time. Still, that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try. What is worse than losing control, is allowing yourself to lose control. I’ve fallen into this hole many times. I’ll admit, I do allow myself to just slump in it. It’s alright to acknowledge your feelings but that doesn’t mean allowing yourself to remain stuck in that hole, even horribly use it as an excuse. Like falling into quicksand, you can’t not do anything about it, or struggle too hard to pull yourself out.

What do I do then? When all else fails, trial and error while taking it slow and easy. You’ve got to somewhat strategize. Don’t force yourself to get better racing against the clock, but be aware of your progress over time.

Gather opinions and Critically Analyse

You need to make a decision? Talk to friends and family. Do your research, gather information. (The analytical and scientific part of me prevails hah). When it all overwhelms you? Bring out the legal pad! Lay it all out! I personally feel that always helps.

First instinct

Questioning yourself? Listen to your heart. Listen to the first thing that comes to mind. Think back to times you were self-assured.

Talk it out

Feeling Judged? Everybody judges. Remember that. If it’s from someone you care/admire? Talk to them about it!

Occupy and Distract

If much like me, you’re generally just overthinking about everything and anything… the best way is to occupy yourself with something of interest and/or important. Something that requires a lot of thought (not menial/routine tasks you can do with your eyes closed), be it learning a new language or a home improvement project. From what I deduced, I’ve always been an overthinker. The difference is how occupied my mind was.

Release your inhibitions!

THAT IS NOT ALL. That definitely distracts you from the voices, but you shouldn’t discount them either. Distraction is just a way of muting those voices, but that doesn’t mean it goes away. Don’t go bottling them up only to pop like a champagne bottle once the pressure is off your mind. Find a way to release those emotions and thoughts. For me?

Writing it out (hence, here I am)

It also gives me a better clarity as I have to arrange my thoughts on top of laying it all out.

Music Therapy

Singing/listening to relatable songs definitely helps release emotions! I do this a lot. In fact, I’m obsessed with creating playlists that are emotion and incident based that I would search for songs with lyrics and mood that (almost) exactly fits it. People keep photographs, I keep playlists. Just don’t forget to end your playlists on a positive note!

Dance it out

It works for our fellow twisted sisters who have to deal with crazy plot twists while being a doctor, so why not try it out?

Borrow an ear

Yes, I’ve mentioned this before, but for different reasons. You definitely want to talk to someone who you think have experience or can best relate to you, which means you don’t necessarily will talk to the same person about your predicaments. It also helps if that person has a voice of reason.

That’s my two cents on how to deal with overthinking. As much as writing this post helped cool down my overheated noise-filled mind, I really hope this reaches and helps those of you who can relate to my experience! Leave a happy comment when you find it does =) Spread your lighter and happy voices.

Let’s end it on a more optimistic and hopeful note, as we should –

“And if I hadn’t come down
To the coast to disappear
I may have died in a land-slide
Of the rocks, the hopes and fears.
So swim until you can’t see land.”

Embrace your inquisitive mind and madness. Just learn to not have it overwhelm you (hopeful my tips will help!), because sometimes, you need to lose your mind and control in order to regain it.

Do you have any specific undesired voices inside that you struggle with kicking out your head? Share and I will help to the best of my experience!

Swimming on,
Sum.

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